Good Oral Health Means Eating the Right Food!

woman-brushing-teeth
Maintaining good health starts with the good oral hygine

Maintaining good oral health is obviously important but most people have a rather lackadaisical attitude towards dental hygiene. They lack the necessary foresight to realize the long term implications of bad oral health. The damage accrues over a long period of time and its symptoms do not show up until it manifests as pain or outright disease – but by then, it’s usually too late.

Damage to the parts of the mouth also has far reaching consequences to the rest of the body. And sometimes, this damage is irreversible, leaving nothing but regret in its wake. It might require several costly trips to the dentist and dental specialists as well as numerous bills stacking up before the pain finally subsides.

It is obvious that what we eat directly affects our oral health (as well as our overall health).  But as far as dental preventive techniques are concerned, it is prudent to adopt a wholesome diet. Let’s start by discussing the foods to avoid in order to prevent mouth discomfort or more importantly – oral diseases.

Candy

CandyIt is very tempting to toss these into your mouth by the handful. Candy is arguably every person’s – child or adult – guilty pleasure, but many are extremely bad for your health. If the candy is sour, it tends to cause even more destruction. This is because they contain a lot of acid. And acid is your mouth’s worst enemy, causing tooth decay and fostering conditions for the growth of bacteria which gradually erodes enamel.

Now enamel is the hardest material in our body and you may not realize this at first, but candy erodes them like waterfall erodes rock and it may be too late once it becomes noticeable. 

Additionally because candy tends to be chewy, they stick on the teeth for longer periods of time, even after you’ve brushed and flossed. This creates the perfect condition for the growth of excessive plaque which won’t go away until what gets stuck inside the crevices of our molars are swept away.

Alcohol

Social gathering of friends with alcoholic drinks
Social gathering of friends with their happy drinks

Many large numbers of people enjoy a good brew every now and then and for some, it is more ‘now’ over ‘then’ .  Try telling them to stop drinking alcohol and you’d be reliving the prohibition period of the 1920s. 

Whatever your choice of drink is and your inherent frequency for slugging down the happy juice, be aware there will be consequences to your oral cavity, not to mention other parts of your body (and we are not talking about the dangers of driving or over drinking. We’ll save that for another article).

What do alcoholic drinks do to your oral health? First, it tends to absorb your saliva when you gulp it down. The action of saliva is extremely important for the well being of our oral hygiene, they prevent food from sticking to our teeth and naturally wash away any debris stuck to them. But when the mouth is dry, it allows all kinds of infections and gum diseases to flourish within the oral cavity.

You could try offsetting the dry conditions created by alcoholic beverages by drinking lots of water and then rinsing with fluoride toothpastes.

Carbonated BeveragesBottles of Soda

Coffee and soda can really have an impact on your teethYes companies have to sell the ‘diet’ editions of carbonate beverages so as to satisfy the concerns of paranoid health conscious people as well. But carbonated beverages are probably one of the worst oral health offenders we delightfully drink in excess.

Many studies have shown that there is a strong correlation between soda consumption and tooth decay.  A case study found that the damage done to our mouths by diet soda is comparable to the damage done by years of abuse from smoking methamphetamine or cocaine. Let that thought sink in. Who could have expected that soda would have the same damaging long-term effects as meth?

You could argue that given its health implications in the long run, soda might as well be labeled the new ‘drug’.

Water
Water- the healthiest of all drinks comes in many forms. It exists as a solid, a gas and as a liquid. Here’s the catch though, any other form of water other than liquid can harm us if consumed (or ‘inhaled’) excessively. Especially in ice form. Some people have the natural tendency to chew down on ice. What they don’t realize however is that ice is a hard substance. It’s the equivalent of trying to bite down on solid rock with the exception that rock doesn’t give away under pressure.

Ice erodes, chips, breaks and damages teeth irreversibly and sometimes requires emergency dental trips. So when you receive chilled beverages served with solid ice, try not to toss them in your mouth. If you’re that thirsty simply wait for the ice to melt and then drink the water.

Chips and Snacks
Another guilty pleasure of life. Chips contain copious amounts of starch. When chips become ensnared by the tiny gaps in our teeth, the starch breaks down  into sugar. This sugar then serves to make the lives of bacteria so much easier because it is food for them. And we just supplied an excessive amount of harmful strains of bacteria.

Coffee with Sugar
We all need a cup of this black drink before going to work, and we all mix in at least two spoonfuls of sugar pellets to add taste. But did you know that coffee can stain your teeth? It dries the mouth and leads to bad breath.

It is preferable to not use sugar with coffee to lessen the risk it can pose to our teeth. Better yet – Stay away from sugar altogether! 

For healthier teeth, eat natural foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Those that contain vitamin C would be the best for your teeth, as vitamin C keeps your bones and teeth strong.

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